If you’re looking for locally grown produce, craft items and more, the Redford Township Market at the Marquee is the place to be. Each Sunday from now until the end of October, the farmers market will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“The purpose of the market is to give people the opportunity to buy fresh produce and to be able to buy local,” said Marketing Manager Ivan Purkiss, who added that the Marquee is a great venue. “If you go to most markets, they’re open to the elements. It’s nice to have a closed market because no matter if it rains, we can still go on.”
The market will be closed the weekends of July 4th and Labor Day. The market’s first Sunday was June 17 and business has been a little slow thus far.
“As the produce comes in, we tend to get more people,” Purkiss said. “Right now it’s mostly lettuce, tomatoes, and strawberries.”
Additional kinds of produce will come in each week. “We will have everything from apples to peaches, pears — all kinds of stuff,” said Purkiss.
Dairy products, honey, jams, eggs, crafts, candles, and soaps are just a few of the other items available at the farmer’s market from week to week. About two dozen vendors were on hand June 24.
“It varies a little from week to week,” Purkiss said of the vendors that show up for the market. “We try to get a variety of vendors and not duplicate too much. We usually do have several produce vendors because we want to have a good selection for our customers.”
Kelli Lack has been a vendor at Market at the Marquee for several years. She offers a variety of jewelry and window hangings as well as dream catchers.
“Kids love to come up here and look at my stuff,” Lack said. “My stuff is very reasonable priced. I have some nice items for kids for about $10. My earrings are $5 or six for $20. My necklaces are high-class and $25.”
The Redford resident said she enjoys the interaction with customers at the market.
“I just like to get up her to sell my art and talk to people,” Lack said. “I just like to hang out.”
Lack isn’t the only Redford resident that sells items at Market at the Marquee. Joyce Alexander started “Judella’s Sweets and Treats” a few years ago and now sells her homemade cookies and pies at the market.
“My love of baking is why I started the business,” said Alexander. “Judella” is a combination of her great-grandmother, grandmother and mother’s names. “It’s an homage to the three ladies that inspired me to cook. I was always in the kitchen with my mom.”
Alexander said she hopes to eventually expand her business into local markets and coffee shops. “You have to start small and build up,” she said.
While she can and does produce a variety of baked goods, she said apple and sweet potato pies are her specialties. Both are delicious, but Alexander gives her sweet potato pie a slight advantage. She said a lot of trial and error allowed her to perfect the pie, not a family recipe.
“This is one I figured out on my own,” said Alexander, “with the help of some people, free taste-testers.”
The market does attract vendors from outside of Redford, too. Debbie Hewitt came all the way from Highland Township and brought with her 20 varieties of homemade jam.
“I heard this is a pretty good market,” she said. “I figured I’d give it a try.”
Hewitt’s business is known as “Grandma’s Pantry.” Those 20 flavors of jam she brought Tuesday included pear, carrot and cherry. She has her own favorite.
“The apple pie jam is really good,” Hewitt said. “I put it over ice cream.”
She sells four-ounce jars for $2.75 or two jars for $5. She offers eight-ounce jars, also at $5.
“It’s all fruit,” Hewitt said of her jams. “There’s no water and no juice. I think people are surprised with all the flavors I have.”
Sharon Weakley was among the patrons at Sunday’s Market at the Marquee.
“We came after church. My grandchildren are with me and we wanted to see what the market had today,” the Redford resident said. “We found some fresh eggs and jelly. We were thinking about getting a little apple pie for grandpa.”
Weakley is no stranger to the market.
“I come quite often during the season,” she said. “I like it when the have the fresh corn. There’s always different things every time you come.”